FILM: THE BLUE CAVE
Muhammad Bilal is a writer, director, actor, and photographer. Prior to becoming a filmmaker, he served as an urban educator for over 17 years; he was a teacher, assistant principal and principal. He is a recent graduate of the MFA film program at The City College of New York in Harlem. Muhammad has also studied film and acting at The New York Film Academy, New York University, Chicago Filmmakers and The Theatre School at DePaul University. He made his directorial debut with the short film SAPO, which opened to great reviews at the Improfilm Festival in 2019 at the IFP. He is currently in post-production with his most recent short film, The Blue Cave, scheduled to screen at over a dozen festivals including Cityvisions in June, 2020. Muhammad has a passion for writing and directing films that focus on social issues which impact youth in urban communities and stories with universal themes impact us all: love, betrayal and loss. He is set to launch his own production company, Bilal World Entertainment, in 2021. Muhammad continues to train as an actor with Paul Calderon and Anthony Abeson Acting.
Ali, a young imaginative boy, has one dream in life: to become a screen writer. Abused at home by his stepdad, a failed junkie musician, and bullied by members of the neighborhood gang, he longs for a safe space to simply write his stories and explore his imagination. One day he discovers a magical magic blue cave where characters from his stories come to life; he takes refuge in the cave. But as the violent attacks against him, both at home and in his neighborhood, become deadly; he must soon decide whether to take a stand against his persecutors or lose his dream forever.
Writer/Director: Muhammad Bilal
Producer: Muhammad Bilal
Co-Producers: Sadiya Bilal & Nicole Brooks
Director of Photography: Muhammad Bilal
1st AC: Susan Mei
2nd AC: Melissa Gagliardi
Editing: Eileen McQueen
Production Designer: Nicole Brooks
Sound: Veralucia Quispe, Max DiPaola & Lauren Banjo
Casting Directors Muhammad Bilal & Nicole Brooks
Costume Designer: Muhammad Bilal & Nicole Brooks
Production Manager: Nicole Brooks
Script: Muhammad Bilal
Executive Produced by Nicole Brooks, Muhammad Bilal & Sadiya Bilal
Associate Producer: Justin Filpes & Tomas Greer
Associate Producer: Al Taveras & Jamar "Knowlej Ra" Hector
Produced by Sadiya Bilal & Muhammad Bilal
Gaffers: Alejandro Hurtarte & Waley Wang
Cinematographer: Christopher S. Lind
Production Assistants: Knowlej Ra & Chris Kennedy
Steadicam Operator: Carlos Slusher, Jr.
Script Supervisor: Sarah Diaz
Hair & Makeup: Emily Marvin
Assistant Director: Nicole Brooks
2nd Assistant Director: Katrina Holm
Fight Coordinator: Hugo Salazar
Robert Barnes Jr. as "Ali Mustafa (Teen)"
Calvin Coley as "Ali Mustafa (Child)"
Adrian Washington as "Sherman Jones"
Patrice Battey as "Khadijah Jones"
Arielle Landers as "Latifah Mustafa"
Kevin Best as "Steel"
Johanna Lugo as "Coco"
Johanna Lugo as "Delba"
Johanna Lugo as "Blue Lady in The Cave"
Johanna Lugo as "Lady in Blue Dress"
Ramsden Madeaus as "Mike"
Chris Ledbetter as "Big Jay"
Mouhamed Fofana as "Chris/The Beast"
Knowleh Rah as "Rico"
Kaitron Bryant as "African King"
Natasha Diaz as "Chanel"
Jade Mason as "Two Times"
Billie Rae as "Aliyah"
Whitley Polk as "Rhonda"
Dasja Pennix as "Tiffany"
Dasja Pennix as "Woman in Cave"
Dasha Pennix as "African Queen"
Ox King as "Bars"
Quran M. Whitehead as "Big Nate"